Your roof is designed to last for decades—but only if you maintain it properly. There are several important tasks you should undertake each summer in order to care for your roof—and there’s a right and a wrong way to keep it in good shape. Follow these summer roof care tips to ensure your roof continues to protect your home and family for years to come:
- Inspect your roof and clear debris: One of the best—and most overlooked—ways to care for your roof is to perform a visual inspection. The best time to do this is in the summer, after the harsh weather of the previous seasons has passed. Use binoculars to look closely at your roof from inside your home (when possible), then inspect the flashing for vulnerabilities from inside your attic. Finally, if you have a low-pitch roof and can safely get onto it, step onto your roof (in mild temps only—a hot roof can be damaged by treading on it) and remove any debris you see. Don’t use a rake—instead use a soft-bristled broom. Look for loose or damaged shingles and discoloration. Any problems you see (inside or out) may be indicative of more widespread issues, so don’t attempt any repairs without consulting a roofing specialist.
- Know how to clean your gutters: Roofs are made to shed water and snow. But if debris in your gutters builds up, it can prevent your roof from drying out properly, which can shorten its lifespan. Learning how to clean gutters yourself can save you the cost of hiring a pro, but you should consider outsourcing the work if your home is more than a single story. If you choose to DIY, you should clean your gutters out every summer with a sturdy ladder and a pair of heavy work gloves. Work from the ladder whenever possible. If you’re using an extension ladder and must lean it against the gutter, place a 2×4 inside the gutter to protect it from damage. Use a bucket to collect the debris. Don’t lean out from the sides of the ladder—take the time to move it along the gutter as you work. And don’t get up on your roof with a leafblower—this is extremely dangerous and best left to a pro. Once the gutters are clear, hose them out, but don’t use a pressure washer, which can damage your gutters or tear them right off.
- Address algae and moss buildup: Algae and moss grow most readily in moist environments. If you’ve got algae (areas of black discoloration) or moss, it’s not only unsightly, but it can even damage your roof. The best way to remove the buildup is by spraying it with a 50/50 mix of chlorine bleach and water. You’ll want to take care to protect the landscaping below your roofline from the solution. Spray the mixture on and rinse it off after 15 to 20 minutes. Always use a low-pressure hose; never use a pressure washer, which can remove the asphalt and seriously shorten your roof’s lifespan. The algae and moss will wash away in future rains. Keep future growth at bay by following our guidance on how to clean your gutters properly and safely clear debris from your roof.
- Manage plants and trees: Summer roof care also includes trimming branches away from your roof to prevent damage from scraping limbs and to reduce algae and moss buildup by keep roof surfaces drier. Trimming tree limbs that extend over your home also helps reduce the number of leaves and sticks that end up in your gutter. You’ll also want to monitor any climbing roses or vines that trail up the sides of your home, and ensure they don’t encroach your roof at any time.
Knowing how to properly care for your roof can go a long way toward maximizing its life—and the financial investment that went into it. Keep problems at bay and ensure your roof works well and looks good for years to come by calling the roofing experts at George J Keller & Sons, LLC. Our professionals can inspect your roof and diagnose and address any issues that may be affecting your roof’s performance. Call us today at 973-927-0963 for a free roof assessment!